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The State of Risk Management Report 2021: Call to Action

Source: Key Findings of 'The State of Risk Management Survey Report 2021'.

The norm of conducting 'business-as-usual' has been transformed during the pandemic. It's been a major driving force for the organizations to re-think the efficacy of their risk management programs - from strategy to daily security operations - and how it responds to changing business needs. The State of Risk Management Survey Report 2021 echoes other leading industry voices and research outcomes - the need for an agile, integrated risk program that runs across all business verticals: Strategical, Tactical and Operational. It's a wake up call to many and an opportunity for 'Carpe diem. Seize the day' when it comes to driving continuous Security Excellence.

Risks and Challenges

To see cybersecurity as No.1 risk to business shouldn't be of any surprise to you, it's been around since 2015.

The State of Risk Management Survey Report 2021 helps to realize that today's cybersecurity risks are way more business oriented (resilience, reputational & financial, operational) and focus on data breach prevention, minimizing the impact to business and ensuring business continuity.

Source: Top Risks (The State of Risk Management Survey Report 2021).

The other major significant discovery derived from above mentioned survey is in a way an acknowledgement that your business is not alone, that there are many other businesses who find aligning cybersecurity risks with business strategy challenging.

Source: Top Challenges (The State of Risk Management Survey Report 2021).

For example, challenges such as 'Aligning risk priorities with business strategy', 'identifying emerging risks' early, 'data quality to compute risks', 'eliminating risk silos', 'visibility of top risks impacting the organization', 'lack of knowledge' - 6 out of 7 above listed TOP Challenges - can be addressed through continuous security services improvement methodology aligned with ISO 27001 Plan, Do, Check, Act. We call it 'SOC productivity optimization', others refer to it as 'Security Maturity', 'Security Efficacy', 'Next Generation SOC', 'Future SOC', 'Operational Resilience'.

As business strategies and goals alter over time to adjust to evolving internal and external factors, it becomes critical for your security services to effectively respond to changed risk priorities for successful risk mitigation. Continuous SOC productivity optimization is part of future-ready, agile, integrated risk management program.

Determining the effectiveness of cybersecurity risk management is a top priority for risk professionals, The State of Risk Management Survey Report 2021 has identified.

Source: Effectiveness of Risk Management Program is a top priority (The State of Risk Management Survey Report 2021).

The traditional approach to risk management that relied primarily on siloed processes is no longer relevant and effective, however, it still exists in many organizations or parts of the organization. In today’s fast-paced and complex operational environment, what security and business leaders want is comprehensive and deeper visibility into ever-changing organization’s risk posture, tracking security services efficacy and the level of deviation from the business needs, risk tolerance and efficient risk mitigation measures.

Achieving Improved Cyber Resilience and Business Continuity

It is totally possible to deliver what is expected of a high-quality security service if you activate the right drivers. There is an assumption that the relationship between SOC and it's three key elements: people, processes, technology exists by default. Real business cases show that those three key elements which support security services are often overlooked.

Source: For better management and success measurement, SOC productivity optimization projects are split into eight key areas, TOP 3 being people, processes and technology. (

The purpose of running SOC productivity optimization as a part of your agile risk management program is to speed up your SOC or MSSP maturity and transform it into a trusted security advisor which is able to proactively identify business risks indicators early, accurately and communicate it to the Board for well-informed decisions while supporting your security infrastructure, your business goals and initiative.

Source: Continuous SOC productivity optimization is part of an agile, integrated risk management strategy (Quantum Cybersecurity Skills)

The continuous improvement approach that we describe here does not try to reinvent the wheel. On the contrary, it aims to re-visit security 'back to basics' and exercise it to an excellence on a continuous basis. It runs across all organizational verticals at all times: Operational, Tactical and Strategical Layer which leads to faster and tangible results.

Depending on your business security needs, SOC productivity objectives may change. Here is an example of SOC productivity optimization objectives:

1) Achieve improved data management at the Operational Layer. An effective use of monitoring tools will speed up the identification of cyber events and help obtain statistical inputs from technical and executive reports. This exercise will also help achieve operational accuracy, for example, number of total logs vs 'touched' logs vs cyber events vs correctly identified incidents, etc.

2) Understand security posture at the Tactical Layer. The ongoing analysis of technological risks will allow the tactical counterparts and C-level stakeholders to be informed of organization's always-changing security posture and effectively apply risk mitigation measures.

3) Enable business growth at the Strategical Layer. The ultimate goal of the business is to be profitable, be successful at doing business. This is an important factor which needs to be remembered by the teams whether their primarily focus is risk or compliance or governance or any other. An agile risk management program that is an enabler to end-user focused digital journeys, customer and employee satisfaction will improve contractual renewals and employee retention, business scalability through new projects with current and future customers.

An agile risk management program that incorporates SOC productivity optimization offers an opportunity to measure security services, detect in a timely manner if security services have deviated from the business goals, ensure the verification of processes to withstand the pressure of cyber emergency.

A strong resilience program is a must for organizations today as it strengthens the ability to identify, prevent, respond, and recover from operational risk incidents that can impede critical business operations. By ensuring security services efficacy, it enables organization to quickly adapt to changing risk landscape.

You may also like below blog(s):

'Most Overlooked Areas of SOC Productivity Optimization'

'Step #1: Do You Have The Invisible Gorilla in Your SOC?'

'Step 2: Associated $$$ of The Invisible Gorilla in Your SOC'

#SOCoptimization #SOCproductivity #SOCsalability #SOCsustainability #SOCvalue #SecOps #SOC #SOCsuperposition #InfoSec #MarginalGains #RiskManagement #Resilience #BusinessContinuity

Organizations that are able to take a full advantage of their Security Services Operations (SOC) are Leaders when it comes to reducing business risks, operational costs, improving resilience and business continuity. Scale and sustain the resources that you already have - it's part of an agile and integrated risk management strategy.

Quantum Cybersecurity Skills has been co-founded by seasoned SOC Managers to help SOC Managers and CISOs out there. We are your trusted Partner to deliver continuous SOC productivity optimization aligned to ISO 27001 PDCA, proactive and reactive security services, MDR and professional risk mitigation services. Our services are applicable to any size organization from any industry, whether with an in-house SOC / CSIRT / CERT or MSSP outsourced. We run operations in UK, Canada, Mexico and Spain.

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